Tag Archives: traditions

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Customer Service breakthroughs

Customer Service Breakthroughs Are Limited By Fear

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Often we are told to confront our fears, try something new, something different and to break bad habits or worn out traditions. Could it be true that customer service breakthroughs are limited by fear?

In a service driven economy, the most important cultural value for your organization may be customer service. Many organizations say that they are excellent at this, no need to really change or improve, we’ve got this.

The reality is that the organization never decides about good or bad. They never decide about effectiveness or satisfaction, the customer does.

Best Work

The best organizations do the best work because they care. Not because they say that they care, but because they show that they care. It isn’t really a token, a free item, some coupons, or a survey. It is what the customer feels.

Creating exceptional customer service programs comes with a price. Often organizations know what needs to be done but they are afraid to absorb the cost. There is fear that the cost will not yield the return on investment.

Organizations consider that they could:

  • Wash the customer’s car after servicing it, but that costs.
  • Gift-wrap special purchases, but that costs.
  • Turn up the heat, or turn on the air conditioner, but that costs.

Good Service Costs

The fear in any of these scenarios is that once you start you have to continue. Often there is consideration in doing it for the exception, which seems like a good return on investment.

That is our best customer. Wash her car before she picks it up.

It is the holiday season; ask customers if they want gift-wrapping.

The temperatures are going to be really high today maybe we should run the air conditioner but only during the dinner hour.

Customer Service Breakthroughs

Organizations feel that they care, but when they only care sometimes, the customer often doesn’t share in that feeling. For the organization when it is a one and done, it feels okay, but replicating it over and over again feels like too much risk.

What your organization does next to create a culture of caring will not have much to do with what it knows how to do.

It will have everything to do with what it fears.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Why a Trusted Customer Service Culture Matters

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“I don’t know what it is, I just don’t trust him.” You’ve probably said it, or you’ve heard someone say it. Trust is a vital element of customer service. Does a trusted customer service culture matter?

We quickly can recognize that a culture develops from values, beliefs, and traditions. In sales or customer service trust may have a direct link to symbols, imagines, and brand. Trust may sometimes be hard to define but we know it when we feel it.

Fine Print

Most people don’t read the fine print. They seldom read every part of a product label. They don’t read the pamphlet that comes with the prescription, or the terms and conditions contained within the drop down box on their recent online bill pay.

Most likely it is not because they don’t care, it is more likely that they have already decided to trust what they are getting themselves into.

Trust isn’t about the fine print. It is more likely about word of mouth, what they have observed from others, or from watching a television commercial or YouTube video. Of course, then you must realize that they have decided to trust those sources too.

Inside the Organization

Your customer service culture starts within the organization. It is often based on a concept that many would suggest is primordial. What we see, feel, and hear establishes our trust.

Trust comes from the observation when they don’t believe anyone is watching. It may come from the power of numbers, the perception of acceptance, or when the risk of chance feels small. Deep inside we connect because of trust.

Even today it may be essential for life, it makes groups more powerful, and we know that by working together we can accomplish more. It’s a tribe mentality, follow the crowd, if many are doing it, it must be okay, safe, and something good.

Trusted Customer Service

Through marketing and advertising your organization can accomplish a lot, but the feeling that your organization delivers starts within the culture. Sure people see the marketing and advertising but they also put a lot of weight in their own observations and draw conclusions based on what they feel.

If the people on the inside don’t believe, it is a much harder sell on the outside.

So what do you think? Does your culture deliver on trust?

– DEG

Your culture of service matters. It is why I wrote this book:

#CustServ Customer Service Culture

Get it Now on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Originally posted on September 5, 2017, last updated on December 23, 2018.


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Customer Service Habits

Why You Should Change Your Customer Service Habits

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Habits lead to traditions. Traditions become part of the culture.  Should you make room for some new customer service habits?

You probably have to clean out your closet before you can buy something new. When both hands are full you need to put something down and let it go before you can grab on to something new.

Do you have an old customer service habit that needs to be revised or replaced?

Customer Service Habits and Labels

Here are a few ways that we might label customer service habits:

Established. What is well established seems reasonable, but in a world of constant change the worst thing to do is to stay exactly the same.

Tried. Many times people have tried something new, only to discard it quickly and label it as not working. Just because it didn’t work then, doesn’t mean it won’t work now.

Old. Old habits are traditions and traditions may be the hardest to break. Traditions are good, but what if you can only have ten of them? Could one of them be replaced with something fresh, something new—should it?

Tested. Knowing what works is important. Passing the test is always critical. Did the test cover all possibilities? What has changed since the test?

Broken. Chances are good you have a habit that is broken. That doesn’t mean you’ve broke free, it means that the habit is not effective. Broken, weak, or useless means it should be discarded. Replace it with something new.

New Habits

The landscape of your service interactions are constantly changing. Certainly, you may have some fundamental values, policies, and procedures, but the interactions you have today may not still be effective tomorrow.

New doesn’t last very long. Some people see that as a problem, others see it as an opportunity. Tomorrow you’ll have a choice, some habits should stay for a while, others may need to be replaced.

There is an advantage to new, it gives you energy, something to talk about, something to promote.

People always ask, “What’s new?”

Will you have something to say?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service network dennis gilbert

Your Customer Service Network and World of Mouth

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Word of mouth has often been connected with sales, marketing, and reputation. Driven by technology today many consider word of mouth to have become world of mouth. Have you considered the impact to your customer service network?

We have a powerful force among us. Everyone who has a computer, a smartphone, and who engages with others using these tools has the potential to influence more people faster than ever before. Sometimes misunderstood, sometimes taken for granted, world of mouth can change everything.

World of Mouth

Like many things responsible for business success, the concept sounds easy and inviting, in practice it takes effort, patience, and persistence.

What is the most powerful force working for or against your business or organization today? It might be world of mouth. Many successful businesses recognize that today a component of what builds their business is media.

Like it, love it, or make a choice to leave it, the network you’re building will have a lot to do with results. The face of retail is changing, the manufacturers are more engaged than ever, and distribution is faster and now more personal. It is all happening very fast, or not.

Customer Service Network

Your customer service network, the people who interact with you, use your products and services, can make a significant difference. They create a culture based on values, beliefs, all of which are built to become a tradition.

In most cases, participation in the network is voluntary. People sign up because they want to. It makes it that much more powerful.

Culture is how we live. It is what a group of likeminded people create. It consists of values and beliefs. Even within the group sometimes, conflict sparks additional innovation to shape and guide the collective culture. How we network and with whom drive all of this. It is a voluntary cultural movement.

Changing Lives

Networking changes lives, shifts opinions, and sells more product and services than perhaps ever before. This benefits the savvy, the tech, and the early adopters.

This network drives nearly every successful endeavor today. It is how things sell and guides what becomes popular.

The service you deliver will spread through the network. It will spark growth, create followers, and build more traditions. Ignored or unmanaged it could leave you with smoldering ashes.

Either way your customer service network is a world of mouth. It is both opportunity and advantage, unless it works against you.

It’s all up to you.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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positive culture appreciative strategies

3 Ways to Create a More Positive Culture and Scale Up

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Positivity is a popular discussion item. People talk about being positive, but what they really mean is that they are trying to not be negative. What about scale up versus scale down or spin up versus spin down? Are you part of creating a positive culture?

Our modern society has some interesting interest groups. We have groups who focus on helping the less fortunate. Groups interested in global environmental changes, and we even have the minimalist groups, those who might focus on reduction.

Up or Down

In our business communities and inside our organizations, we sometimes see challenges with growth and rapid expansion. We might also see interest in driving down costs, eliminating waste, and improving efficiency.

Scaling is a hot word. The buzz question might be, “How are you scaling up?”

We might encounter somewhat of a paradox, yet few connect the dots. Considering all of the scaling, all of the focus on eliminating waste and all of the setting of standards and strictly adhering to them, is there room for a positive culture?

Is it possible to shrink, reduce, and eliminate your way to more? More growth, more sales, and more profit? Does the mindset of reduction create a cultural shift of reduce and stabilize? Is this an act of scaling up or scaling down? Does it create a positive culture or a negative, declining culture?

Positive Culture

Here are three ways you can work towards a positive culture and scale up:

  1. Encourage more. Often there is so much effort spent on reduction and elimination that more of anything feels wrong to employee teams. Change the wording, the symbols, and the traditions that place value on reduction. Make them more about prosperity and growth.
  2. Customer emphasis. Nearly everyone says that they are customer focused but are they? When the focus is reduction, elimination, and high efficiency the best question might be, “How does this impact the customer?” Are prices dropping, value increasing, and are services expanding?
  3. Scale up. Everything needs to stay within budget and profit is always critically important but you likely will not grow when your focus screams shrink. Encourage renewed outreach and get the customer more involved. Connect more and make your story about growth not squeeze.

Scaling

Certainly, the mind-set of positive thinking is powerful. It isn’t just words or it isn’t necessarily just the opposite of negative thinking. Your culture might use words that seem positive when the exact nature of actions and behaviors are spinning down, not up.

Is your business or organization creating a positive culture?

Scale up.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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comfortable with change

Getting Comfortable With Change

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Did your January 1st start out with a vow to change something? As I write this, it is nearing the end of June. How has change worked for you? Are you comfortable with change?

Habits and Traditions

Most of our life is spent getting comfortable. It seems we are always working to improve our skill and to replicate what worked well and call it a habit. It might be the way that we do things and those things might become known as traditions.

Yet, for most of us, we also recognize that if we want different results we have to do things differently. Even then, we sometimes can’t just do things differently, we must consider how to do different things. This is change.

When our concept of progress is to become so highly skilled that we feel comfortable, everything else is uncomfortable. Change is often hard, it is different, not the same. Change might take all that we know and all that we’ve done and turn it upside down and inside out.

Business leaders want to improve the product, find new revenue streams, or completely change the company. Their opposition might not be the competition but more about the habits and traditions they’ve worked so hard to perfect. It is a paradox.

Comfortable with Change

Perhaps mastering change is to learn a new skill, the skill of becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable.

The emergency room at the local hospital never knows what to expect. They plan for the unplanned and adapt as things change. Certainly, they might not always change their policies, procedures, or medicine, but they also don’t know what will happen next.

Technology, shifts in socio-economic conditions, and the values and beliefs of consumers will all have an impact on what happens next.

It seems that the best way to get comfortable with change is to expect it.

You’re going to have to give something up though. A habit, a tradition, or the way you’ve always done it. It will mean learning something different and developing a new skill.

Get comfortable with that too.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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